Have you ever looked out over the expanse of amazing Star Wars movies, shows, and games in development and wondered why? Not why all are blessed with all of these wonderful things, mind you. But why these things and now, and not the other things we might have wanted and needed back then. This is about the things that should have been, but weren’t. It’s about the lost LucasArts Star Wars games.
I know, this is relatively old news. The most recent revelation regarding these titles came back in February, when prototype footage from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 3 hit YouTube. But that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten or it hurts any less. Even though these two projects were canned when Disney acquired LucasArts, we’re in a time and place where such things should be revived or inspire successors.
Let’s take Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. The series was one that wasn’t always at its best, with the sequel being no match for the success of the original. Starkiller was an interesting character with great powers, though. Not to mention, Sam Witwer did a fantastic job as a voice actor. While each of the prior games didn’t exactly meet expectations, the third seemed like it had promise. It was going to be on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U, meaning LucasArts would have had more resources to work with. It would have shown Starkiller in a more open adventure, and what Star Wars fan wouldn’t relish an opportunity to explore worlds they’d watched or read about?
Certainly, it wouldn’t have been on par with Star Wars shooters or starship simulations. But sometimes, we want something that isn’t exactly perfect. We want an adventure. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed has always felt like it was more about being in the moment as Starkiller, as the original’s story was quite good. Repetition and linearity were always the series’ enemies, and it seemed Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 3 would have remedied that. Why couldn’t something with a similar, hack-and-slash mindset make a comeback? It should inspire something more for an all-ages audience.
As for Star Wars 1313, this would have been our chance at a more mature Star Wars game. It would have been about being a more ordinary individual in this universe. While all of the media we’ve seen focuses on Force users, this would have had us being bounty hunters. It could have been a return to form and callback to Star Wars: Bounty Hunter. But, since it couldn’t manifest, we’ll never know what might have been. There’s no gritty gadget-using for us.
Which is another shame, because think about the more recent Star Wars games we’ve received. There is Star Wars Battlefront, a shooter that was focused on online encounters, and Star Wars: The Old Republic, the MMORPG. The lack of Star Wars 1313, or anything like it, has left a hole. We’re stuck with certain sorts of gameplay that rely on RPG mechanics and shooting. This would not only have offered a more mature take, but also diversity.
This is the key word here. While Star Wars is experiencing a popularity boom, with all sorts of movies and books, its games aren't offering the kind of variety you would expect from the series. We should be seeing more titles that appeal to a wide range of interest. It's odd Star Wars Battlefront II is the only exciting prospect on the horizon. Shelved games, like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed III and Star Wars 1313, should be getting successors.